Agony and Eloquence: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and a World of Revolution

Agony and Eloquence: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and a World of Revolution


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The drama of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson is the foundational story of America—courage, loyalty, hope, fanaticism, greatness, failure, forgiveness, love.

An Essential American Friendship is the story of the greatest friendship in American history and the revolutionary times in which it was made, ruined, and finally renewed.

In the wake of Washington’s retirement, longtime friends Thomas Jefferson and John Adams came to represent the opposing political forces struggling to shape America’s future. Adams’s victory in the presidential election of 1796 brought Jefferson into his administration—but as an unlikely and deeply conflicted vice president. The bloody Republican revolution in France finally brought their political differences to a bitter pitch. In Mallock’s take on this fascinating period, French foreign policy and revolutionary developments—from the fall of the Bastille to the fall of the Jacobins and the rise of Napoleon—form a disturbing and illuminating counterpoint to events, controversies, individuals, and relationships in Philadelphia and Washington.

Many important and fascinating people appear in the book, including Thomas Paine, Camille Desmoulins, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Tobias Lear, Talleyrand, Robespierre, Danton, Saint-Just, Abigail Adams, Lafayette, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Dr. Joseph Priestley, Samuel Adams, Philip Mazzei, John Marshall, Alexander Hamilton, and Edward Coles. They are brought to life by Mallock’s insightful analysis and clear and lively writing.

An Essential American Friendship is a thoroughly researched and tautly written modern history. When the most important thing is at stake, almost anything can be justified.

Title:Agony and Eloquence: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and a World of Revolution
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Agony and Eloquence: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and a World of Revolution Reviews

  • Steven Peterson

    The focus of this book is the friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the decline of that friendship, and its recurrence due to the efforts of Dr. Benjamin Rush after Jefferson's presidenc...

  • Joseph Adelizzi, Jr.

    "Shenanigans!" my daughter Kristin used to say, "I call 'Shenanigans!'" She reserved invoking the damning yet restorative "Shenanigans!" for those times when her brother Jeffrey stretched the bounds o...

  • Lee

    A few digressions are far longer than necessary, such as the detailed inquiry into whether Washington and Jefferson exchanged heated letters after the publication of Jefferson’s letter to Philip Maz...

  • Lynn Smith

    This book covers the history of the friendship (and separation and reuniting) of two of America's founding fathers -- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The book details how Jefferson and Adams worked t...

  • Al Lock

    I expected this book to be better than it was. First, I think the author spends very little time on the actual correspondence between Jefferson and Adams, being more intent on expressing his own polit...

  • Jonathan

    Did anyone edit this book? The author repeats himself chapter and after chapter. Also, I was unpleasantly surprised to see that the author thought to spend but a few pages on the letters sent between ...

  • Cameron

    This book contains plenty of interesting information but is in need of an editor. In many instances of the books I found the author repeating the same idea over and over. A good editing job is needed ...

  • Jean Durbahn

    The correspondence between Adams and Jefferson is prolific and educational, and the history of the French Revolution is detailed nicely here. However, the author bends over backwards to defend the dua...

  • Tonya Covarrubias

    Interesting trip through the lives of Adams and Jefferson through the lense of the French Revolution. I learned so much about how truly partisan and dirty politics was in the days of the Founding Fath...

  • Jim Swike

    Excellent book on how these Men dealt with each other, professionally and personally. This is also a great example of the power of letter writing in this era. A great reference book as well. Enjoy!...